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Fungal Genet Biol. 2006 Oct;43(10):694-706. Epub 2006 Jun 9.

Light regulation of asexual development in the rice blast fungus, Magnaporthe oryzae.

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Department of Plant Pathology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14850, USA.


Light is a major environmental factor that influences many biological processes. We characterized the roles of light in asexual development (including the formation of aerial hyphae and conidiophore) in Magnaporthe oryzae, which is the causal agent of rice blast disease. Our data revealed a complex nature of light regulation in the asexual developments of M. oryzae. Asexual development of M. oryzae is suppressed by blue light in a light/dark cycling environment and asexual spore release is controlled by both blue and red light. We demonstrated that even very dim light, about 10 micromol m(-2), is sufficient to suppress spore-release behavior in M. oryzae. We also generated knockout strains of a blue light receptor, mgwc-1, the M. oryzae homolog of white collar-1 in Neurospora crassa, and demonstrated blue-light-specific regulation in the asexual development and spore release in M. oryzae. Our findings in this agriculturally important pathogen, M. oryzae, broaden our understanding of the roles of light in fungal development.

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